From the Pastor’s Desk
In today’s first reading, God calls the prophet Jeremiah and equips him for the opposition and rejection ahead of him. Please make no mistake about it; nobody is immune to rejection and adverse reactions, not the prophets like Jeremiah and certainly not Jesus, as seen in today’s gospel passage. During February, we as a nation celebrate Black History by highlighting the achievements of African Americans and recognizing their central roles in the history of the United States. These achievements were realized amidst struggles, challenges, and difficulties associated with systemic oppression of Black people, racism, slavery, and social segregation. Like the others in our past, we still contend with the challenges of discrimination, police brutality, incarceration of our youth, and flagrant violation of our fundamental rights. In the face of all these challenges, God reminds us of His omniscience the way he reminded Jeremiah in today’s first reading and encourages us to remain resilient as He would make sure that we are victorious. Against this backdrop, we are called to face the future with prophetic courage and optimism.
St Paul advises us in the second reading to embrace our prophetic calling and fight rejection with one simple spiritual instrument, love. As prophets and Christians, let us continue to speak out against injustice despite the situation we are subjected to; and let us show an excellent example by embracing love. After all, Martin Luther King Jr. advised us to use love as an antidote for maltreatment, hatred, and rejection. Let us end with the beautiful words of MLK in his Christmas sermon for peace in December 1967, “We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We will meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will, and we will still love you… But be assured that we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer, and one day we will win our freedom. We will not only win freedom for ourselves; we will appeal to your heart and conscience that we will win you in this process, and our victory will be a double victory.”
Parish and Diocesan Black History Month Celebrations
During the month of February, we as a community will celebrate Black History month. Our parish celebration will take place on Sunday, February 6 at a special 11:00AM Mass that will be held this year at Holy Rosary Church. We will welcome Father Mario Powell, SJ as the main celebrant and homilist for Mass. Father Powell is the President of Brooklyn Jesuit Prep School in Brooklyn. Please note that on Sunday, January 6, there will not be a 10:15AM Mass or an 11:30AM Mass. Mass will be celebrated at 7:30AM at Our Lady of Victory Church and 11:00AM at Holy Rosary Church. There will be a reception in the lower hall following the 11:00AM Mass. On Sunday, February 20, the Diocese of Brooklyn will celebrate Black History with a special Mass of Thanksgiving at Immaculate Conception Parish in Jamaica, New York. We will welcome His Eminence, Wilton Cardinal Gregory, Archbishop of Washington DC as the main celebrant and homilist. All are welcomed to join us for both celebrations.
Bishop Robert Brennan Official Visit
It is with great joy that we will welcome Bishop Robert Brennan, the new Bishop of Brooklyn to our parish community. Bishop Brennan will celebrate the 11:30AM Mass at St. Peter Claver Church on Sunday, February 27. At that Mass, Bishop Brennan will bless the new organ console, the newly renovated shrine to St. Therese of Lisieux and the newly refurbished choir pews. There will be a reception to follow in Msgr. Rodgers Hall.
Wishing you a joyful and peaceful week,
Father Alonzo Q. Cox